Carved up Skyrim for multiple characters?
December 28, 2013 7:26 AM   Subscribe

I got Skyrim for Festivus, yay! I'd like to experience it as more that one play style; how can I divide up the map / quests so that I have minimal repetition? I tend to explore and have a hard time saying 'no' to side-quests; are there areas that I should save for one particular class?
posted by a robot made out of meat to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (16 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Yay indeed!! It's such a fun game. Grrreat news is that, IIRC, each class can get specific quests. So you can build a great smashy warrior and going the equivalent of their fighter guilds, then a sneaky sneaky theify Kajiit for the thieves' guild (which is funnn) and then an assassin for the assassins' guild . . . the side quests and main quests are of course the same but certain caves and side areas only open on class-specific quests so you can have many hours of exploring in very different contexts.
posted by mibo at 7:36 AM on December 28, 2013

I don't think there are really any areas to avoid; you'll be all over Skyrim with pretty much any character. There are the guild (and guild-like) quests that mibo mentions, but I just want to be a little clear: Any character can do any, or all, of them. It's not like the game considers you a "fighter" and therefore you can do the "fighter's quests". There's no such game mechanic. So if you want to not do those with a particular character, you're pretty much going to have to say no to side quests.
posted by Flunkie at 7:47 AM on December 28, 2013

The repetition in Skyrim isn't all bad; if you're playing different characters/styles you're going to end up with some different outcomes.

That said, obviously skip learning magic and going to the mages if you're playing a fighter. Fighting quests kind of start with Whiterun, so you could keep that for your fighty smashy character.

I've played through a few times. The first time I just did whatever whenever as it came (like you I cannot avoid a nice little side quest, just for a moment while I'm in the middle of this other quest why is the sun rising?). Skyrim is a huge world, so there's plenty to explore.

Subsequen playthroughs I self-restricted how and what I could play. The absolute most fun was a Khajit archer-assassin. Sneak sneak sneak, shoot dude in the eye from a mile away. Sneak sneak sneak.

Way fun.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:50 AM on December 28, 2013

There aren't any classes in Skyrim -- you just develop whatever skills you choose to develop.

You should post this question over at /r/skyrim as well.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:51 AM on December 28, 2013

Fighting quests kind of start with Whiterun, so you could keep that for your fighty smashy character.
But you can't seriously avoid Whiterun just because the fighters' guild quests start in it, can you? Whiterun has so much more than the fighters' guild quests, and lots of other completely unrelated quests will bring you to Whiterun.
posted by Flunkie at 7:53 AM on December 28, 2013

Oh yeah, should have previewed: you don't exactly select your character class. You select your species, which will have certain benefits and drawbacks. After that, your 'class' is determined by how you play. Skills are leveled up by use, not arbitrarily.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:53 AM on December 28, 2013

But you can't seriously avoid Whiterun just because the fighters' guild quests start in it, can you? Whiterun has so much more than the fighters' guild quests, and lots of other completely unrelated quests will bring you to Whiterun.

Yeah, sorry, I didn't explain myself well. I guess I meant more like, "A lot of the more fighty stuff starts there, so you can kind of pick and choose when you're in town."

Not fully awake yet, derp.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:54 AM on December 28, 2013

Whiterun features prominently fairly early in the main questline so you shouldn't avoid it unless you like wandering around aimlessly (which granted is more fun in Skyrim than in almost any other game).
posted by Jacqueline at 8:00 AM on December 28, 2013

I think it kinda happens naturally too, my boyfriend played for a year with a sneaky archer, and I just started a month ago as a battle mage and we have had very little overlap in quests/content. We both have strayed from the main storyline so that is part of the little overlap too - you can have a lot of fun and not do much of the main story. He actually started to include more magic/alchemy/enchanting in his play style after watching me play. If you follow what interests you, level those skills, and that'll open up some avenues, and if you go back and play other characters try to use another strategy and go to different places. The game is so freaking huge that I don't think you'll have to be too deliberate in terms of saving things. Plus you can always skip any quests that don't seem fun/that you've already done, I always have a queue of twenty or so. I would say just try resist the completionist urge, otherwise Skyrim can be overwhelming or you waste time doing a lot of quests you don't like. My completionist friend decided he hated Skyrim from doing a lot of boring fetch side quests and stopped playing, and so robbed himself of discovering all the awesome stuff!
posted by amileighs at 9:27 AM on December 28, 2013

how can I divide up the map / quests so that I have minimal repetition?

Well, the map has a nifty feature: it keeps track of which dungeons you have visited, and when it assigns new quests to you, tries to avoid assigning the quest to a dungeon you've already visited. So that helps!

So there are a few types of quest:

-Main storyline quests: you can't avoid these, but there is some variance here, even.
-Civil War quests: There are two sides available here. If you side with one faction over another, you'll spend more time in either Solitude or Windhelm. If you want to avoid repetition, avoid spending too too much time in the 'opposing' city.
-Faction quests: one quest line for every faction. I suggest keeping to factions that make sense for your character, and picking up the remaining factions on your next character. Sneaky-type? Do Thieves Guild, Assassins, maybe Bard's Guild, and save the Mage's guild for a Mage-type character.
-Daedric quests: these might make the most sense for a magical or evil character. They also have a special quest icon. Just as an FYI.
-Dungeon quests: "Go to dungeon X and get me back my bauble/kill the bandit leader."
-Expansion quests: Dawnguard etc.

For main story and Civil War, you have two choices. Factions, you have as many options as there are factions. Daedra... get interesting. You may or may not be given much in the way of choice, depending on the quest, and the replay value really depends on your personal reaction to the quest.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 9:27 AM on December 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh, one last thing: if you care about achievements/collecting sets of things/are otherwise a completionist, you might want to try to save the Daedric quests to run through them all on one morally ambiguous character (must enjoy: thieving, murder).

Not all of the Daedric quests involve you doing nasty things. Most (but not all!) involve some out-there stuff that might not be compatible with how you want to do things, if you are trying to roleplay.

Of course, avoiding Daedric quests is easier said than done. I play a goody-two-shoes character 90% of the time and I still bumbled into two or three of them. Luckily, they were a couple of 'nice' ones.

If you don't care about achievements or being a completionist, take the Daedric quests as you find 'em.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 9:46 AM on December 28, 2013

I would say just try resist the completionist urge

Because a bunch of the quests are buggy as hell and if you do one tiny thing in the wrong order you can never clear them off your screen and you want to THROW THINGS
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:52 AM on December 28, 2013

It totally has classes. You can mix it up a bit, but fundamentally you are still a Mage, fighter, or rogue. It is cool that your berserker can cast magic missile though.

There are the big main story quests. You can't avoid repeating these. Then there is every other quest where you basically walk down a tunnel and kill things. If the repetition with one character doesn't bother you, it won't with three.
posted by munchingzombie at 10:24 AM on December 28, 2013

You can mix it up a bit, but fundamentally you are still a Mage, fighter, or rogue.

Only for maybe twenty levels. After that, you should probably have enough stat and skill points such that you can do whatever the hell you want.

Granted, you won't be able to do all of everything for quite a while, but you can totally master a melee tree, a spell tree, and some stealth skills by level fifty or so.
posted by valkyryn at 10:34 AM on December 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

Skyrim content definitely chunks up into groups of content, like flibbertigibbet said above. Just don't touch the Mage's Guild at all the first time through and second time you can enjoy that instead. I graphed Xbox achievements awhile back grouped by content type, if you don't mind mild spoilers that may help you as a guide. The UESP Wiki is good too.

The primary content groups are: Main Story, Companions, Mages, Thieves, Civil War, and Dark Brotherhood. Each town also has a significant quest story. And there's lots of side quests.
posted by Nelson at 4:51 PM on December 28, 2013

For follow-up:
The game is designed so that you can do almost the entire thing in one play through. There are few long-term consequences for anything you do in terms of closing off other quest lines or making NPCs hate you. On the flip side there are not a ton of positive interactions between quests other than the rewards being good at different levels. The characters are not as gear dependent as in similar games (perks really define the play-style), and loot is mostly randomized and leveled, so you won't find yourself repeating a lot of gear quests. There are tons of essentially identical low-impact quests, so you can chose to do different ones with different characters with very few exceptions. On the other hand, leveling all the skills to be a generalist (and get to play with all the skills) probably makes the game harder by increasing the HP of mobs, but the base difficulty to pretty low to start with. The game was most fun (to me) at low levels, so frequent restarting with the alternative start mod may actually be the best way to play it, with the caveat that you'll need the Timing Is Everything mod to activate some quests early.

I went through (main quest, dragonborn, mage guild, civil war, markarth) with an archer-mage and (fighters, thieves, assassins, dawnguard, wildhelm) with a sneaky-onehanded-shield with daedrics, divines, thanes, etc mixed in randomly. The only quests that I consoled to skip the second time were part of the main quest and some of the shouts. If I were going to do it again, I probably would have broken it into archer (main, dragonborn) mage (mages, dawnguard), thief (thieves, assassins) fighter (fighters, civil). The daedric and divine quests I would break up by how useful the reward is to your character or just do them when you happen to run into them; you can see the rewards without spoiling the quests as the UESPWiki. There is a geographic component to the thane quests and some of the side quests, but they don't interact much with the faction questlines. The UESPWiki side quests page lists the most notable side quests and where you'll run into them without giving away too much.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 9:46 AM on April 18

« Older I'm currently employed, but lo...   |  I'm mid-second trimester and n... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments